October 2018


newsletter october 2018



Dear Friend

It is with very great pleasure that I welcome our newest Friends; we (the Trustees and established Friends) are delighted that you have decided to join the Friends of St Gregory’s Minster, and we look forward to meeting you at any or all of our functions throughout the year.

The Patronal Festival and Luncheon took place on Sunday 2nd September. Following a Choral Service in the morning when Father Luke Beckett OSB of Ampleforth Abbey was the Guest Preacher, many Friends (together with Father Luke) were able to meet for lunch at the Kirkbymoorside Golf Club. This was a particularly happy occasion when glasses were raised toasting the arrival of our youngest supporter, Baby Mimi, and the engagement of two young supporters, Nicola and Nathan. We wish them all every  happiness, and look forward to seeing them as often as possible at our events. I must also applaud and thank the Friends who turned out to help in cleaning the Minster beforehand. Unsung heroes, all.

Tuesday 18th September was an historic date for the Friends, in that several of the St Gregory’s Minster Friends together with our neighbours, The Friends of Lastingham Church, visited Hexham Abbey. This was the first ever joint outing, and it is hoped that many more will follow. The day (despite starting horrendously early) was a great success, due in no small measure to Mrs Penelope Dawson-Brown, of the Lastingham Friends, who organised everything most beautifully. Thank you so much, Penelope. Thanks are due also to Sid Bradley for his most interesting and amusing talk on Hexham and matters related thereto, during the journey to Hexham.

I am very pleased to announce that following the interest and success of this visit to Hexham the Trustees are planning a day-trip in June (date to be confirmed), by coach, to view the Edward Burges church at Studley Royal, and other nearby points of interest. Details will follow in due course, next year.

I am aware that that old Phoenix, Father Time, is moving steadily onward through the seasons. (Why Phoenix? I hear you ask: a fancy of my own - because Time dies at the Year’s End and is reborn on New Year’s Day ... and you thought the flames you were watching were ordinary fireworks!).  Although we are now in the midst of a glorious Autumn, Christmas is just around the corner. We have items for sale which might be suitable seasonal gifts, such as the Kirkdale Monographs (information about which is available here on the Friends’ webpages, see Kirkdale Lecture); in the October/November edition of Outlook (the benefice magazine); or on the bookshelves inside the Minster itself. We also have a new run of Christmas Cards. I regret not being able to bring them to you here in colour, as they really are beautiful, with suitable greetings. Three cards are available: a painting of St Gregory’s in snow (£5 for a pack of 5); an historic photograph of the Minster in snow (£5 for a pack of 6); and a child’s drawing of children visiting the Minster in snow (2 cards together with 2 cards of the painting, and 2 cards of the photograph, the mixed pack of 6 cards costing £5). They are available to buy in the Minster, or if you cannot get to the Minster, from chapnawton@aol.com with an additional cost for packing and postage. When ordering by email please provide your address and all means of contact.

We will shortly be able to offer the new Kirkdale Mug, and details of how to obtain one (or more) of these highly desirable mugs will be forthcoming. I have been privileged to see the exquisite artwork for, and a “mock-up” of the mug before it went into the firing process. I have to say that I am absolutely thrilled, and can hardly wait for the beautiful end product to arrive. It is a Limited Edition run of only 200 numbered pieces, with an artist-signed gift-box. The artist is our very own Friend, Christopher Ware (warehouseart.com), who has donated his time and talents for this work. The Trustees wish to express their gratitude to Chris for his extremely generous action. The cost of the mugs has been set at £15 each, with package and postage extra. The mugs will provide suitable presents for every occasion, and information on how to view, order and obtain them will be forthcoming in the very near future.

Whilst on the subject of cards, may I ask for your help, please. The Trustees are very keen to produce a collection of blank note-cards suitable for all occasions (and in due course possibly a calendar) featuring views of the Minster at different times of the year. We have already collected a few photos,  but would be grateful for more. If you think you may be able to help, please contact Trustee James Lloyd on lloydjandi@gmail.com. Thank you, in advance.

The Carol Services at St Gregory’s Minster are an integral part of the Christmas celebrations, and I am happy to say that the usual two Services will be held, but on two consecutive Sundays this year, on Sunday 16th and Sunday 23rd December at 4pm. Tickets will be available at the services in St Hilda’s and St Gregory’s on Sunday 4th November; telephone and postal bookings  will be taken from Monday 12th November. Stamped, addressed envelopes would be greatly appreciated even if you are local to the area. Please contact: Mrs Julia Maynard, The Old Forge, Pockley, York, YO62 7TE; tel: 01439_772123. For the benefit of our newest Friends I should explain that as seating in the Minster is limited two identical Carol Services are held every year so that as many people as possible may attend. Free tickets are issued as a matter of Health and Safety so that the Churchwardens can provide safe seating for all who attend. The Services are very heavily subscribed, so do request tickets in good time, from the dates specified. Please don’t forget your stamped addressed envelopes!

Finally, I offer a brief mention of next year’s Friends’ Weekend and the Patronal Festival. The Weekend will be held on Saturday and Sunday 11th and 12th May 2019. St Gregory’s Minster Patronal Festival will be held on Sunday 1st September 2019. Details will follow next year.

May I wish you, on behalf of the Trustees, a joyful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New  Year, with thanks, as ever, for being a Friend.

Yours sincerely

Heather Harris


Tel: 01723 850558 ; Email: westlands.harris@btinternet.com


The Trustees: Mrs Heather Harris (Chairman); Mrs Margery Roberts (Honorary Secretary); Mrs Diana Pearce (Honorary Treasurer); Reverend Susan Binks; Professor Sid Bradley; Mr Bob Chapple; Mrs Erica Dineen; Mr James Lloyd; Mr Gordon Mellor and Mr John Turner.  “The Friends of St Gregory’s Minster” is a charity registered with the Charity Commission, Charity Number 700344.